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#52767 - 03/12/03 10:11 AM In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
bisulatino Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 70
Loc: San Diego, CA
My name is Victor and I was sexually abused at a young age, I can't even remember how old I was. It was an older male cousin whom first showed me how to masturbate, then gave me pornography to masturbate to and finally convinced me to have sex with him. This abuse went on over time from when I was a young child until I was in junior high school. I began to refuse his advances because I felt what we were doing was wrong, but at the same time I was really attracted to doing it. That's how it ended, we never talked about it since and I still see him occasionally.

The most difficult thing for me is that now I am 20 years old, my second year in college and I am living almost 2,000 miles away from all family. I spend a lot of my time moping over my loneliness, feeling extremely depressed and helpless. In high school my grades were descent because I did not have to try very hard to get good grades, but in college I am finding that I fall apart easily, get distracted easily, have extreme trouble sleeping and waking up, and feel unmotivated regardless of all the efforts I try to motivate myself. Now I have a mediocre g.p.a.

I have been seeing a therapist for over a year twice a month and it has helped me a lot. Seeing this therapist has helped me even admit what happened to me when I was younger. I am also on an anti-depressant, but even that only helps so much. This semester has turned out terrible, I considered dropping out of college and returning home even though I only have a year of classes left. I feel that my world is a broken vehicle I've been trying to drive for the last two years, and I'm at the point where I need to have the engine rebuilt or else I'm going to go no where.

I need to hear from other men who've had this happen to them if what I am going through is normal, and what I can do to try to repair it. I constantly make myself feel like a victim, and use that as an excuse for failure. At the same time my professors don't know about my problems so they just see me as another lazy student. Has anyone in a similar situation as me had to deal with professors to try to get them to understand what is happening? Should I come out and tell them what happened to me? Is there a discreet way to help them understand?

Also what are some good resources online, and offline, to visit in order to meet other men sexually abused as children? My university is in a small town so I'm not so sure what I could find out here. I haven't been to church in many years, are they even a good resource to consider?


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#52768 - 03/12/03 10:31 AM Re: In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Hi Victor!
I'm glad you found this site. I, like yourself, went through a lot when I was in college. In fact I somehow was able finished. One question came to mind and that was whether your therapist is located at your university. I use to be a teaching assistant for one of my professors and he would routinly receive letters from the counceling department notifying him of a student's particular needs. He would also request to speak to the student. Of course this professor was one of the nicest guys I have ever known but I found that the vast majority of professors are very understanding people. You could try something like this. Of course, you may only need to deal with the more demanding classes/professors involved. And I don't think you need to tell them anything about the abuse. Simply telling them that you have some issues that you're dealing with would probably be fine. Maybe even tell them you're seeing a therapist.

Good luck with all this and I hope you can get through it. I noticed that my healing didn't begin until I finished school because school didn't allow me any extra energy to focus on myself.
Take care,
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#52769 - 03/12/03 10:46 AM Re: In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Bisulatino - Glad you're reaching out!! There are several things going right for you!! You are in therapy with someone who is helping! That's really great!! You recognize that you're in the victims mode and being able to identify that you put yourself in that position! What an important learning! You recognize areas you need to work on! - You seem to have done some good work on yourself. But the isolation, stress and other environmental issues can increase feelings from the abuse and need to be addressed too.

Sorry so short...but I'm late for work. I will post later this evening! Things are not all bad nor as bad as they seem!!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#52770 - 03/12/03 01:35 PM Re: In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
michaelb Offline
Member

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 211
Loc: cincinnati, ohio
VICTOR......BE SO PROUD OF YOURSELF.....you are facing your problems at a young age....i only wish i had your courage....here i am at 44 dealing with the same stuff you are dealing with...trouble is i have wasted my entire life in denial and self-hatred....you are young and you can get better...you deserve to be happy.....i so hate myself that i've attempted suicide numerous occasions over the years and have been hospitalized 4 times over the past 2 years....

give yourself a break about college.....it took me 7 years to finish my undergrad degree....i changed majors and played varsity sports and worked part-time and got very active in student activities but also i went into periods of deep depression.....hell, my freshman year when i failed to make the baseball team, i was so distraught that i told my frat brothers and parents that i had mono and dropped out of school and went home and stayed in bed for 4 months.....YOU ARE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN......i so wish i'd have had your courage to seek counseling at your age, maybe i might have found some form of happiness....it took slitting my wrists and ending up in a psycho ward for me to begin facing the issues of abuse....I SO ADMIRE YOUR ABILITY TO FACE THINGS!!!!!!!!....do you realize how strong you really are?????? keep things in perspective.....it is only grades and if necessary, you can always re-take the course....when i was in school it seemed like many quarters i ended up dropping more courses than i kept.....i now realize that was because things would overwhelm me because i would procrastinate and then i just could not cope....those same bad coping skills are what i attempt to use because i'm incapable of learning new skills to survive....that is why i went to bed a cople of years ago and pretty much stayed there for almost a year....

take pride in yourself....I ADMIRE YOU SO MUCH....stay on your pills and keep seeking therapy....i'm told it just takes time and effort....you can face that, i know how brave you are.....if you want to talk, feel free to let me know....take care of yourself.....michael


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#52771 - 03/12/03 03:59 PM Re: In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
ecb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 205
Victor,

Believe me, what you are going through right now is perfectly normal. I was a junior in college when everything finally came crashing into me. I spent an entire semester simply going through the motions. I was usually able to get my work done, generally at the last minute, but I spent the vast bulk of my time in bed sleeping.

It ain't easy to work on yourself while you are in school. I'm in a Master's program now, and it ain't gettin' easier \:\) The plus side is that I have something to keep myself busy. I had a lot of trouble getting a job between school programs, which didn't help my mental state at all. (It's hard to overcome feelings of worthlessness when you spend the day getting rejected.) \:\) The point I suppose is, you need to ask yourself what you would be doing if you left school.

Nobody can tell you whether you should quit school or not. Like I said, it ain't easy, but I'm glad that I stuck it out and finished getting my degree. (Of course in my case I had the added incentinve that my shrink was a campus shrink and if I can't afford to go to one in private practice!)

Victor, what you are feeling is normal. I was only able to deal with it by seeing a Therapist on campus and plodding through, one step at a time.

As far as telling your profs, I wouldn't go all into it. If you feel the need to give any sort of explination, simply tell them that you've got personal crap going on, and the work may be a little late. I would strongly reccomend against using that as an excuse to let yourself procrastinate more though. I know that that is easier said than done, but I am an unidsiputed king of procrastination, and trust me, all the school work gets overwhelming really fast. Besides, It really helps me feel a bit more worthwhile when I hand in an assignment.

This is, of course, simply my personal advice based on what you wrote. By all means take some (or none) of it and do what you will with it. Just my two cents as another college student groping his way along the path of recovery.

I hope that it has helped.

Eric


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#52772 - 03/12/03 04:00 PM Re: In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
cog Offline
Member

Registered: 01/10/03
Posts: 42
I admire you for speaking out. I think just knowing that there are others like you (and there are) is helpful. I used to think I was some alien in a humanoid world before coming here. I felt so different from everyone else. Everything seemed so surreal and implausible. Now, after coming here I discovered that there are many aliens ;\)
In all seriousness, I wish (as I am sure everyone else does here) that there was some viable quick and easy fix with a way out of the pain and hell that we go through; so that we can truly live a happy and peaceful life. Until we find the cure, we have to lean on each other. The support I have received here is helpful. It helps to know that I am not alone.

I wish you the very best in your journey.
-Cog


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#52773 - 03/12/03 04:35 PM Re: In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Hi Victor,

What can I add to the good words these good men have already shared with you, except:

You know how they say everyone has a double somewhere in the world?

Well, are you my double? Or am I yours? ;\)

Quote:
My name is Victor and I was sexually abused at a young age, I can't even remember how old I was.
My name is also Victor, and I also can't remember when my SA (sexual abuse) began, but I was probably two or less, becuz I don't think my late brother was born yet. Definitely no more than three becuz my father was still around.

Quote:
It was an older male cousin whom first showed me how to masturbate, then gave me pornography to masturbate to and finally convinced me to have sex with him.
I was also incested, first by my mother & father, later from about ages 4-10 by my mother, along others, family & "friends of the family."

I was addicted to sexual fantasy, porn & m*sturb*tion by the time I was 9 or 10.

Quote:
This abuse went on over time from when I was a young child until I was in junior high school. I began to refuse his advances because I felt what we were doing was wrong, but at the same time I was really attracted to doing it. That's how it ended, we never talked about it since and I still see him occasionally.
My abuse also ended right about the time I started
into jr high. This was soon after, at age 10 or 11, my mother sold me to a gay couple that took me to their apartment & r*ped me.

That ended my sexual abuse. My mother put me in a children's home, allegedly becuz I was a bad boy & she couldn't control me. The truth is she couldn't control me by incesting me sexually & emotionally anymore. She was probably also afraid I would tell about the gay couple rape. Groundless fear. I forgot almost as soon as it happened. I had to in order to survive.

The only perp whose whereabouts I know or whom I've had any, tho little contact over the years is my mother, whom when I began to remember my abuse in flashbacks about 18 months ago, I broke all contact with.

Quote:
The most difficult thing for me is that now I am 20 years old, my second year in college and I am living almost 2,000 miles away from all family. I spend a lot of my time moping over my loneliness, feeling extremely depressed and helpless. In high school my grades were descent because I did not have to try very hard to get good grades, but in college I am finding that I fall apart easily, get distracted easily, have extreme trouble sleeping and waking up, and feel unmotivated regardless of all the efforts I try to motivate myself. Now I have a mediocre g.p.a.
Actually I have no family of origin around I know of, except in California where my mother is, also her brother & one of his daughters. My family is my wife & two daughters, both of whom are now in college. And my wife's family, up north.

Victor, my grades dropped off starting in high school, which was when I was put in the children's
home. I got thru high school like you becuz I didn't have to try very hard to get by in grades.

When I graduated & left the home I continued to wander aimlessly, lonely & depressed, until I was 22, when I had a spiritual experience that began the change in my life. As did my second & current marriage, about a year later, which has lasted 23 years.

So I guess in a way I was then kinda where you are now, in college.

The good news & the bad news is that you are starting to deal with all this a lot earlier than I did. Bad becuz it hurts. Good becuz you are feeling, you know the truth, and as you deal with it, that truth will set you free.

Me, I buried all my memories deep down until about a year & a half ago, at almost age 45, 35 years after the last abuse incident.

Quote:
I have been seeing a therapist for over a year twice a month and it has helped me a lot. Seeing this therapist has helped me even admit what happened to me when I was younger.
Fellow survivor, I've seen 4 therapists in the last 13 years, pretty regularly, beginning in school, tho it was for my masters degree. Only after a year or so with my current T (therapist) did my abuse memories unclog & come out. So I've been dealing with them for about 20 months.

I'm glad that already you've found a good T to work with, and you're off to a good early start.

Quote:
I am also on an anti-depressant, but even that only helps so much. This semester has turned out terrible, I considered dropping out of college and returning home even though I only have a year of classes left. I feel that my world is a broken vehicle I've been trying to drive for the last two years, and I'm at the point where I need to have the engine rebuilt or else I'm going to go no where.
Victor, I've been on antidepressants 10-11 years. Yes the help is limited, but I've tried going off the one I'm on, or even cutting back the dosage, and ouch, I can't do it. Not yet anyway.

I'm glad you're hanging in there with college. Keep driving, survivor brother; it sounds like you're already getting some good engine work done.
\:\)
Hey that old car got you here anyway--and I'm glad it did.

Quote:
I need to hear from other men who've had this happen to them if what I am going through is normal, and what I can do to try to repair it. I constantly make myself feel like a victim, and use that as an excuse for failure.
What you're going thru is a normal reaction to the abnormal actions that were perpetrated against you. Feeling like & living like a victim is hard to break when you've been treated like one for so long. As you continue to get help instead of making excuses, you are moving from victim to survivor. You are.

Quote:
At the same time my professors don't know about my problems so they just see me as another lazy student. Has anyone in a similar situation as me had to deal with professors to try to get them to understand what is happening? Should I come out and tell them what happened to me? Is there a discreet way to help them understand?
My first T was a prof at the postgrad school I attended, whom I did have for some classes. The second was an upper grad psych student who worked at the school.

But it never occured to me to talk to my profs about the struggles I had, becuz I didn't know what they were about yet myself. Also I somehow
managed to get pretty good grades, a case of throwing myself into my "work" to ease the pain I was trying to keep buried.

You might talk to a school counselor or advisor even just in general terms, with which they might with your permission be able to "cover for you" with the profs--or help you find courage to talk to them yourself if you want or need to.

Quote:
Also what are some good resources online, and offline, to visit in order to meet other men sexually abused as children? My university is in a small town so I'm not so sure what I could find out here.
OK maybe I'm a biased moderator here. But I've been in recovery support about 20 months. I've found no site for male survivors of SA (sexual abuse) that comes close to this one, and believe me I looked! Like you I live in a (doubtless much smaller) town (no university thats for sure!) and live support for anything is scarce around here!

That's why I've been here since last August, joined in October, and have been a moderator since about then. This is just plain a great supportive brotherhood of survivors! Lots of good forums on the DB (Discussion Board), chat rooms, and a lot of links to great articles, books, helpful sites and resources, off the main page. The administration & leadership of this site are terrific men all of them.

Don't give up on finding live support groups either. You might even check with your school, and with your T. It took me all this time to find
just a couple of months ago, a live male survivor support group. Meets on Saturday mornings, only every other week, and is an hour & a half one way, but it's worth it!

Quote:
I haven't been to church in many years, are they even a good resource to consider?
As a Christian & regular active church member for years, I must give a mixed response to your question. It depends on whether you are just looking for a good place to worship & find fellowship in general, and if you can find one. Or are you looking for a church that has a pastor, counselor or group that ministers specifically to male survivors of SA or at least to traumatized persons in general? That could be somewhat harder to find, but it's possible, believe me.

Also check for churches that might have "outside" groups meeting in their facilities; that's like the one I go to.

Well Victor take care.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#52774 - 03/12/03 08:32 PM Re: In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Victor,
There is one other thing that I would like to add. It may be tough to realize but try not to feel any shame for seeing a therapist. I saw a T in my last year of college and I felt so shameful for doing so. It was unfortunate because it completely kept me from talking to my friends about the distress that I was going through. Once I broke that shame barrier things got a lot easier to handle. It allowed me to get my problems out in the open where I could deal with them. So if you were to simply tell someone, a professor for example, that you're seeing a T then they may help you more than you realize.
Take care,
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#52775 - 03/12/03 09:51 PM Re: In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Victor,

I don't know what to suggest but I recommend that you do whatever you can to have some fun and get out of your head once in awhile. I know I can get really caught up my issues, to the point where everything looks bleak and hopeless. Fun and exercise can help recharge drained batteries, immersing yourself in your studies could also be an acceptable and even healthy form of distraction.

One year to go may seem formitable but it's not impossible. Think of your satisfaction when you graduate, it's another form of overcoming the legacy of your trauma.

I'm frankly envious of your ability to have gotten this far, because I never really had the wherewithal to get a degree. Now at age 43, it is more possible than when I was a late teenager/young man, but so much more difficult to accomplish.

Offline resources I'm not sure about, your T may be able to point you in the general direction. Perhaps some kind of general men's group would help, even if the members aren't survivors there can be the common ground of dealing with difficult problems and getting/giving support.

Online resources... hmmm... well frankly this web site, forum and chat room are by far the best I've found on the net. You can use the search link at the top of page, look for 'http', that should provide lots of links others have posted on various forums. The web site also has many good white papers and links.

I hope you come to recognize that the sexual pleasure you felt and desire for more is a natural and understandable reaction. Many men here, myself included have felt the same way. It takes time to realize your role and responsibility, which is to say YOU weren't responsible, he was. The guilt and shame belong on him, not you at all.

You're a brave young man. Hang in there, you can make it!

jer


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#52776 - 03/12/03 09:57 PM Re: In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Well now that we have two Victors here, hmmmm, what do we call the elder Victor? It will have to be something suitably farty \:\)

jer
hiding out in the hills of pa... hehehe

hey, wait now, Victor you put that whip cream canon down.

yikes


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#52777 - 03/12/03 10:22 PM Re: In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
bisulatino Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 70
Loc: San Diego, CA
Thanks everyone for your support and sharing your stories. Reading them leaves me with a feeling of disbelief at how many survivors there are with so many different stories, and at the same time make me feel that I am not as alone. I'm going to try to work the guts up to talk to my professors.

As of now I'm no longer seeing a therapist because our school has limited staff available but am working on seeing an off campus therapist, one that my parent's insurance will cover. I am also in a student support group focused on our families of origin but I don't feel this one helps me much because they mainly talk about fighting with their parents, not past physical abuse and sexual abuse. I'm going to ask the student counseling center if they know of any male survivor support groups. Needless to say mid-semester creating my support is proving difficult and hurting my progress... but let's hope that my professor give me a second chance when I talk to them about my problems.


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#52778 - 03/13/03 12:12 AM Re: In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Jer:

I might be coming up to PA for a retreat in May, with Mike Lew!

You can run my friend but you can't hide! :p \:D

As to there being 2 Victors here, I guess us two Victors will have to work that out. Maybe VictorW
for me and VictorB for our new Victor. Maybe New Victor & Old Victor. Or how about Victor Young Man and Victor Old Fart?

Me I'm flexible. I've had a lot of names and I've been called a lot of things!... \:o \:\)

So what do you think new Victor?

Old Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#52779 - 03/13/03 12:39 AM Re: In college, away from home and dealing with past sa
Nathan LaChine Offline
Webmaster
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 5378
Loc: Washington State
Victor my loves goes out to you. I am sorry that I did not post a reply to you sooner. I can only say that for my self I have gone through some of the same abuse. I was abued by my older cousins and lots of other people. I moved away from my home town about six months ago. I live 2,136 miles from my family. I am a year younger then you are.

Their is no norm to healing from sa. The way you feel is completely "normal" I am glad to hear that your T is helping you. I have been feeling sad alot lately I left behind everything I knew and loved and I have really started to deal with my sa.

This board has helped me a great deal. You are in a safe place to heal my friend. Please know that you are totally "normal," well what every normal menas. Please join me one day in the chatroom.


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